Tag Archives: Rest

Fresh perspective

11 Aug

Today I return, with slight trepidation, to the blogosphere. My “blogoliday” has rather taken me by surprise – a result of both busyness and intentional time out. I wanted to take a bit of time to reflect on why I am here. Why I put myself out there via this blog. Why I might continue to do so, or not. And (I think) I am back. For now at least.

I’ve been reflecting, of late, on the question: “what really matters?”. The London Olympics has been a wondrous staycation – a fortnight of multiple-hours-in-front-of-TV, a collective joy and pride in our city, amazement at the human spirit, inspiration to “get off the sofa more” (once Olympics is over obviously!) and a sense that “real life” has been suspended for a while. This unexpected, joy-filled time has – I think – helped me to put life into perspective. To remember that work is not always the number one priority. To remember that community and shared experience is often much more fun than “solo viewing”. To remember that, around the world, many athletes overcome extraordinary adversity to represent their country at this global party/competition.

And, in some strange way, this new sense of (forgotten) perspective has helped me as I’ve reflected on blogging too. For a while, number of readers really mattered to me. Now it doesn’t. For a while, I worried too much about what people thought. Now I won’t. For a while, it stopped being fun – a hobby – and became a chore. A pressure.

At times during my blog-break, I have wondered why I would blog at all – after all,  I thought (in my bleaker moments),what do I have to contribute? Why would anyone want to read my words? Is it helping anyone, in any small way, at all?

For now, I sense that I will carry on – until it stops being fun, until it stops being a forum for honesty and transparency, until it becomes a noose rather than a joy.

My hope is that this blog creates a space – for myself and others – to talk openly instead of in whispers. To say the difficult things – rather than pretend they don’t exist. To challenge, provoke, question, encourage and, maybe occasionally, inspire. To come back, again and again, to the question: “what really matters?”.

Writing is, for me, a therapeutic balm. I hope that reading it will, every now and again, be that balm for your soul too.

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Seize the day? No. Thank you though.

21 Jan

Although I am not a mum, I absolutely loved this article by Glennon Melton. There seems to be a relentless pressure on all of us – not just parents – to “make the most of every day”, not whiling away even a few moments on being/slobbing around/”wasting” time. This seems particularly true for London life, where days are packed, long and sleep/rest is hard to “schedule in”. It is easy to self-flagellate, to feel like we are failing most of the time. There is always more to do.

Today is a Saturday. So, if you can, take some time out. Read a paper. Watch some TV (I especially recommend Borgen tonight on BBC4!). Chat to someone you love. Have a latte. Browse online – not just “important things” either. Look out the window. Have an afternoon nap. Play with your children. Eat cake. And don’t do any of these things because you “should”. No, not at all. Do them because that’s what you fancy.

Life is more than achievement. More than ticking things of my to-do list. And I am preaching to myself here – I love completing, feeling a sense of achievement and productivity. But there is more to life. There really is.

Let’s live today. Feel alive. Engage. And let’s do it in a way that refreshes and replenishes, not “seizing the day” in a way that adds to life’s pressures, but taking a few moments (in the way that you choose) to listen to and encounter the wonder of life itself.

Do less

13 Dec

Read this brilliant article on the Harvard Business Review blog this morning. It confirms what many of us know – both instinctively and from experience: doing more, working harder, worker longer does not increase productivity. In fact, it does the opposite. Sitting at your desk all day, only leaving to visit the loo, is not good for you. Eating lunch at your desk is not good for you. The more you try to slog, to “push on through”, the less you get done. Bad news for workaholics, good news for the rest of us.

I have a tendency to push myself too hard when it comes to work. To do more rather than less. I might have to rethink my strategy now. We need to rest. I know – I have had burn out and it is awful. All of us, whatever our “capacity”, need to rest, get away from work, think about fun things, do fun things in order to stay human. We need to recharge, whether on our own or with others.

Why is it that we try to be superhuman, when it’s a much better idea to get better at being human. To learn how to nourish our souls and nurture our bodies. To look after ourselves. And each other. That sounds like a good New Years resolution to me!

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